COVID-19

Learn about the virus and our response to it.

Austin Urology Institute will remain open to serve our community and patients during this crisis. We have been a pioneer in our Telemedicine capabilities and will continue to offer this valuable service, which is now covered by all insurance companies including Medicare whenever possible. Similar to FaceTime, this is an easy-to-use service via any smartphone or computer.

This technology allows us to be available to patients throughout the State of Texas as needed for urologic issues.

We have also taken additional steps throughout our clinic to ensure the safety of all our patients and employees for those needing a face-to-face appointment with any of our providers.

We will continue to screen all our staff, as well as our patients on a regular basis for any signs of respiratory or flu-type symptoms.

We will also continue to make available surgical procedures for any urologic emergencies such as kidney stones, and cancers as they arise.

We wish everyone in the community the best in health and wellness during this challenging time..

Below is additional helpful information on the Corona Virus.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that infects animals as well as people. The 2019 novel coronavirus (the virus that causes the infectious disease known as COVID-19) is now known officially as SARS-CoV-2. This virus is closely related
to the virus that caused SARS in 2002-2003, and these viruses originally come from bats.

This new or novel respiratory virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The virus caused an outbreak in that region, and was detected in other areas around the world, including in Texas and across the United States.

Prior to this recent outbreak, this virus was not known to cause illness in humans. It is believed the virus was initially transmitted to humans from a wild animal. Secondary to a mutation, now human-to-human transmission is the most
common way it spreads.

COVID-19 Information

Signs and symptoms

Just like many other viral illnesses, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, fatigue, coughing, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. These symptoms can begin anywhere from two to 14 days after a person is exposed to the virus.

How is it spread?

Because COVID-19 is caused by a new form of coronavirus, the severity of the illness within specific age groups, and the potential impact to our area, is still unclear. Since it is a respiratory illness, it is thought to spread through respiratory droplets exchanged when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It can also be transmitted like other respiratory viruses, from touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face. This new human coronavirus is highly transmissible – meaning it can be easily spread from person-to-person, and
may be significantly more infectious than the flu in an unvaccinated population.

COVID-19 can spread rapidly, so everyone must carefully monitor their own health and take common sense precautions to contain its spread.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Similar to many viral respiratory illnesses, the symptoms of the virus mimic the common cold and can include mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath). Symptoms may appear between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Also be mindful that we are in flu season and pollen counts are high, so there are many other causes for upper respiratory symptoms that are much more common than COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Just as with any viral respiratory illness, COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small respiratory droplets, which are dispersed when a person with the virus coughs or sneezes and are then inhaled by another person. These
droplets can also land on objects and surfaces around the infected person. Other people then catch the virus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

How do I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent the spread of germs is proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Below are some helpful tips:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and perform hand hygiene immediately.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Will taking Tamiflu help me protect myself from getting COVID-19?

No, Tamiflu will not protect you from getting the novel coronavirus. Tamiflu is a drug to treat the flu,not a vaccine. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers internationally have been working to develop antivirals, however at the present time, there is no specific treatment or vaccine.

How long does COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.

Should I be concerned about contracting the coronavirus?

If you are not in an area where the coronavirus is spreading, or if you have not traveled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting the novel virus are currently low.

How does COVID-19 compare to other coronaviruses?

There are several common coronaviruses that typically cause respiratory illness, like the common cold. The COVID-19 is specific to travel or contact with travelers from China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea. Symptoms can range from mild infection to severe respiratory illness.

How is COVID-19 related to the SARS and MERS viruses?

While all three viruses are genetically similar, COVID-19 appears to have spread more rapidly yet it causes lower mortality. Early estimates of the coronavirus death rate from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, have been around 2%. But a new report on 1,099 cases from many parts of China, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, finds a lower rate of 1.4%.

Is it safe to receive a package from any areas with confirmed cases of the coronavirus?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is extremely low and the risk of catching the virus from a package that has been moved, traveled and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is also extremely low. For more up-to-date information on the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website.